Call Me Oxy.

15 Apr

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(Above: the afternoon I started my hike)

On the AT, it don't matter what your parents call you. Instead, you are christened with a "trail name" – usually as a result of something stupid, funny, or otherwise memorable that you do. It's like a fighter pilot's call sign.

As a result, I know my comrades only by names like Staph, Puffy, Funny Bone, Fatty, Sinner, and Whiskers.

So what do they call you, Lucie?, you may wonder.

They call me Oxy.

Back at Neels Gap (mile 31.7) – my first night on my own – I was getting a “shakedown” at the local outfitter’s. A shakedown is where a backpacking “expert” goes through your pack and tells you what you should ditch in order to lighten your load and increase your chances of getting, well, anywhere.

The shakedown dude picked up my bag of meds and was like, “what the heck’s in here?” Being myself, I retorted sarcastically. “Just the basics, Allen. Oxycodone, Percocet, Vicodin, ya know.”

Other hikers heard this and later that night, as we lie in our bunks kibitzing, my offbeat (yet, I will note, hilarious) humor led Stretch to declare “yo, you are so high on Oxy right now!” Staph immediately chimed in with “trail name!” and the room erupted in cheers and laughter.

“Hold on, guys, I can’t be named after a drug. What am I supposed to tell the church groups and old people?!”, I pleaded.

“Fine,” Stretch said, “you can be Roxy if you want.”

“Roxy?!”, my face contorted. “Then they’ll think I’m a stripper!”

A quiet voice floated across the bunkroom. “Why don’t cha just call ‘er ‘White Trash’?”

People fell out of their bunks in laughter.

I pulled my sleeping bag over my face. My words were muffled but loud: “Fine! I’ll be Oxy!”

And so I am. Lucie is but a memory of somebody that I used to know.

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One Response to “Call Me Oxy.”

  1. rexfordnicholson April 17, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    that’s cool Oxy, but how will you jones after the AT? I thought the punishing AT was in order to jones? Are you trying to get off the ‘stabilizers’ by walking the AT. Your outside looks good, will you keep the inside clean? call me tree.

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